License article

Homeless couple sleep on the street while they wait for housing

It's no place for a marital bed.

Teresa, 35, and Shane, 44, are tucked up not long after 8pm. They are on the station concourse near Hungry Jacks at Central Station. But they aren't having cheese burgers tonight.

Charlie arrives on the twice-weekly food run from a Korean church in Hornsby. Teresa gets a hot pie, a hot cross bun and two bananas.

Charlie also brings socks and blankets.

Two weeks ago, they were in a boarding house in Elizabeth Street before it was closed down.

Shane said: ''We have been here a week and two days. We were at the boarding house 11 months on the third floor. On the second floor were ice addicts.


''It got closed down, condemned. The police came in at 2.30 in the morning and said 'you have got 10 minutes to get as much stuff as you can and get out'.''

Shane says he has been in and out of jail but is annoyed that, by being homeless, he is stereotyped as a drug addict.

Teresa adds: ''A lot of people go past and they will wake us up during the night or throw stuff at us. Because we haven't got mental health problems and we are not drug addicts, we are not suitable for a lot of places. We are saving money at the moment to try and get into a boarding house or something. If I could find a place tomorrow, I would be in it.''

Shane has an invitation for Mr O'Farrell: ''Come and spend two to three days by yourself as a homeless person with the clothes you have got on your back, no money at all and sleep how we have had to sleep.''